“Various Peep Shows,” an intriguing collection of canvases by Annie Lapin on view last month at Honor Fraser in Los Angeles, is immediately compelling for its layers. Colorful, uninhibited strokes of paint sit atop one another, surreptitiously framing multiple viewpoints that make you want to peel each layer back to see what is underneath. A flash of a scene here (are those flowers?) and there (is that graffiti?) suggest that these paintings could contain secrets that lie beyond your immediate reach.
On the other hand, they could simply contain collusions of paint. Lapin’s layers gently preserve the process of construction that is at the crux of her paintings, one that employs a language of colors and brushstrokes, yet doesn’t follow a map or pre-determined image. The results are dynamic and beautiful canvases that serve as a record of the artist’s process, and as an invitation to mine your own experiences to perceive them.
Positioned on the other, darker side of the gallery are two video works from Brooklyn-based William Lamson. Here, self-expression is manifested in conflict with self-preservation, creating the primary tension on display in a video called Action for the Delaware. In the first few minutes of this work, we see a man who is calmly, yet mystifyingly, standing on the surface of a river. We soon find out, however, that he is actually standing on a concealed platform on which it is difficult to balance, and that a few moments of peaceful walking on water requires lots of time, perseverance and struggle. Tranquility, like art, can be illusory.
The second video relies on the image of a silver Mylar ball blowing and rolling across the desert in the wind, to convey its own inherent tension. There is a thing of beauty in its forceful movement across the vast desert landscape, but, perhaps purposefully, its lack of resolution leaves something to be desired.
“Various Peep Shows” and “Action for the Delaware” were on view at Honor Fraser in Los Angeles from January 11 – February 22, 2014.